Civil society urges Kofi Annan to protect human rights in Tunis

By EDRi · October 5, 2005

A number of civil society groups present at the WSIS PrepCom in Geneva have written an open letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “Since we learned that the second phase of the Summit would take place in Tunisia, we have expressed serious concerns over the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Tunisian authorities. Today, shortly before the holding of the Summit, we unfortunately must note that there has been no improvement and that we have recently even witnessed a serious deterioration of fundamental freedoms.”

The letter sums up an impressive number of human rights infringements in Tunisia recently and asks the Secretary General to do everything in his power to make Tunisia respect international human rights standards.

The letter is signed by over a 100 civil society organisations, including many EDRI members. The letter states:

“We hence consider that the minimal conditions for the holding of this Summit are not met and that the credibility of the United Nations is at stake, as well as that of the international community, not to legitimise practices and policies contrary to its international commitments. We regret to inform you that if there are no significant improvements in the human rights situation in Tunisia before November 16, we would then need to reconsider the modalities and level of our participation at this Summit. We, therefore, respectfully request you to dispatch a high representative to Tunisia to review the state of affairs in the host country and for you subsequently to seek Tunisian official conformity with its international human rights commitments.”

Civil society letter to Kofi Annan (01.10.2005)